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advice on trekking poles please

aussieozjane

New Member
Hi, I'm currently looking to purchase some trekking poles, and am overwhelmed by choice. I've read reviews on the Komperdells which say the duo locking device does not work that well, reviews on the Leki Diva's that are a bit so so - then there are the Jacko Prostars and the Nordic walking poles plus many more.

Can anyone help with a bit of advice on the best poles you've had?

Many thanks

Jane
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I have to echo Annie's recommendation on the Pacer Poles. I used them too.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Hi Jane,
I used Lekki poles from Santiago to Fisterra and they were good but the locking devise wasn't perfect. For the Camino Frances last year I treated myself to a pair of Black Diamond eliptical sycro flicklock (I know it's a bit of a mouthful) poles and they were really brilliant- the adjusting and locking devices are fast and absolutely secure so changing pole length is easy and mine never 'slipped' out of position, the handles and hand straps are extremely comfortable and don't get sticky with sweat. The only negative is that when 'breaking them in' for the first 2 days the handles left my hands a bit black from the covering.
Nell
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi Jane - I too can't reccomend highly enough the Pacer Poles - have used them on 2 of my 3 Caminos. They have been ergonomically designed by a physio and using them is very different from all the other poles, but I found that I never got sore wrists / arms, and that my fingers and hands never swelled either (which they would normally do). Not sure where you are from in Aust., but the last time I looked no stores in Adelaide stocked them (though I have put in a recommendation to them to do so) and I have heard on the grapevine that Melbourne does'nt either.

A couple of friends have just gone direct to the website and bought from England. With the dollar looking so good at present I would suggest that would be as good a deal as you could get anywhere - even if anyone had some old stock here. Both friends had their parcel in about 8 days - although things coming from Europe have been a bit slower due to the backlog caused by the flight cancellations owing to the ash plume - however they will pick up pretty soon.

By the way - go to the equipment section on the forum and do a search - there has been considerable discussion on poles.

Cheers, Janet
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Here's another vote for the Pacer Poles; very easy to use, service from the UK to US was hampered by the volcanic delays.

(Now if I can just figure out how to attach the dog leash I can use them on training walks.)
 

anita

New Member
Another vote for the Pacer poles. I ordered them directly through the website paying via PayPal and it arrived in good time. Anita
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (May 2009), French Camino (May 2011), Via de la Plata (April/May 2012)
I've checked out the Pacer poles site and they look really good. Which would be best, alloy or carbon?
Sandra :arrow:
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Sandra - here is MY experience:-

2007 I used alloy poles, slipped on some clay just out of Roncevalles and landed heavily on one pole and bent it severely! At the bottom of the hill just before entering Roncevalles there is a heavy gate and I was able to use the gate as a lever to straighten my pole (not completely, but sufficient to be able to carry on using them)

2009 I used the carbon fibre ones (thinking that I might carry them more than use them - especially in France - but I didn't, carry them, that is!) I slipped on some mud and landed on my pole snapping the bottom section off about an inch from the first join. I had insufficient leverage to be able to unsrew the part and thought I would be stuck, but a very kind senor helped me unscrew it - with the use of his tools from his shed, and I just put them back, readjusting the parts and carried on another 500 kms or so. The piece that was just "stuck" in became loose after time and so I used some tape from the first aid kit to "tighten" it and it worked fine.

I was fortunate in the place the second pole snapped that I could continue using it. It is certainly easier to straighten the alloy versions, but they are heavier. I am undecided which I will use next time. Probably the alloy - despite my experience.

Not sure if these experiences help or hinder. The alloy ones are certainly very light. I had every intention of carrying them a lot, but they are so easy to use and it is so nice to walk without swollen hands that I ended up using them all the time (as do a number of my friends). Cheers, Janet
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (May 2009), French Camino (May 2011), Via de la Plata (April/May 2012)
Many thanks for your advice Janet, it confirms what another forum member said. I think I'll go for the alloy as they not only sound better but are cheaper as well!
Sandra :arrow:
 

aussieozjane

New Member
Thank you everyone. I wasn't able to track down any Pacer Poles, but managed to get hold of a pair of Black Diamond eliptical sycro flicklock which I am using in training and finding terrific.

Thanks for your advice.
Jane
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
aussieozjane said:
Thank you everyone. I wasn't able to track down any Pacer Poles, but managed to get hold of a pair of Black Diamond eliptical sycro flicklock which I am using in training and finding terrific.

Thanks for your advice.
Jane
Hey Jane,
I was having a little difficulty sourcing replacement hand straps for my poles and was put in touch with the Black Diamond European office in Switzerland. I didn't really expect anything other than the usual "we suggest you order then online from the states" answer one normally gets in such cases instead I got a dedicated real live person dealing with my inquiry and a replacement set posted to me free of charge :shock: .......great product great customer service :D
Nell
 

Janeh

Active Member
for anyone reading these posts later on -
the pacer pole people ship direct to your door with free postage. They have had problems I think with distributors in the past so have decided to just offer free postage so no-one is disadvantaged. I ordered from them and the poles were delivered within the week to Australia and cheaper than the first set of poles I had bought two years earlier which was great. I have bought the alloy poles and found them fantastic. cheers, Jane
 

MadMax

New Member
I used and would recommend some fizan compact light poles from kathmandu in melbourne, they have a 1/2 price sale very often and will be reduced from $200 to $100, from memory they weigh about 160g each, they are very compact and strong, i weigh over 100kg and would put my full weight on them and they stood up for the whole 900ks. More important than what type of poles you use, is the way in which you use them, your hand should enter the strap from underneath and wrap your wrist from the top(google it) to get the full benefits out of them. When correctly used , there is little need to actually grab the handle, the strap does it all. The amount of people who had obviously spent a lot of money on walking poles and were using them like a regular wooden stick was amazing. Another thing is dont have them too long so that they are out in front of you they need to be by your side. They are defiantly a valuable asset out on the trail.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi MadMax, just a comment on the poles. Yes you are right - some people don't use them correctly, however, the Pacer Poles are used with a different technique to normal poles. Indeed it is not usual to use the straps at all - unless one is in fear of them falling out of ones hand and down the mountain! The manufacturers reccomend not using the straps unless there is a risk of loosing the poles.

Aren't the Kathmandu sales wonderful?! Cheers, Janet
 

+@^^

Active Member
like Jane, i used a set of Black Diamond elipticals
which were great
be sure to consider replacing the rubber tip before you go
i wore through both rubbers and could not find (vdlp) a speciality store that sold them separately
so while dirt-rack walking was fine, the tar road parts were a bit jarring
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hi Jane
I used lightweight Leki's last year from SJPP and found them very good.
Regarding rubber tips; I kept them in my pack hip pocket (ie: in easy reach), I could put them on & off in 30 seconds, and did so at every vallage & city (if used) to avoid noise for the residents. I found this approach best for me, as it gave me better grip on uneven surfaces & quitness when I felt it was most needed. I think I could do another few caminos with the same tips.
Buen Camino
Col
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
colinPeter said:
Regarding rubber tips; I kept them in my pack hip pocket (ie: in easy reach), I could put them on & off in 30 seconds, and did so at every vallage & city (if used) to avoid noise for the residents. I found this approach best for me, as it gave me better grip on uneven surfaces & quitness when I felt it was most needed.
I did this with my Black Diamond poles and about a week out from SDC, the rubber wore through so I think I might carry an extra pair of rubber tips, or see if I can find some made of harder rubber. I used the rubber tips on pavement and through cities, etc and then took them off for the off-road walking. Worked like a charm!
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
The rubber stops on the Pacer Poles are now made differently, with some sort of metal in the bottom to stop the tungsten tip from pushing through the rubber. They now last for several thousand kilometres if not more. Cheers, Janet
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
jl said:
The rubber stops on the Pacer Poles are now made differently, with some sort of metal in the bottom to stop the tungsten tip from pushing through the rubber. They now last for several thousand kilometres if not more. Cheers, Janet
Yes, that's also the system used by Leki.

Col
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
The Black Diamond rubber tips must be different. I wonder if I could use the ones from the Leki poles?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Size matters. I bought Komperdell tips for my Komperdell poles, and they did not fit. Leki tips did not fit either. I do not know if the composition of the rubber is different between brands, but I used the rubber tips almost exclusively on my Pacer Poles, but avoided them as too slippery on my Leki poles.
 

johnnyman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July 2011 and 2013
On my training hikes, I used a single wooden walking stick, then I got a pair of trekking poles. Have used the two poles twice and don't really like the two-pole method. I don't like having both hands "tied up." Thinking about going back to one pole ...
 

annelise

Active Member
Just bought a trekking pole - Gabel 'Escape Lite Lady' - for my upcoming camino (have not tried it out yet). However, I chose it because of its extreme light weight. I expect that the 'Lite' does not refer to the 'lady', who in my case is not a super light weight :? - but rather to the fact that it only weighs 194 g. In addition, it will fold down to 59 cm which will make it easily stowable.

The protective rubber tip may be bought as an extra (so bought two) - I am sure that I agree with those of you who in other post have been complaining about the noise from trekking poles.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
johnnyman said:
On my training hikes, I used a single wooden walking stick, then I got a pair of trekking poles. Have used the two poles twice and don't really like the two-pole method. I don't like having both hands "tied up." Thinking about going back to one pole ...
Many people I see have not been taught the most effective way to use poles. For example, if the loops are used correctly, the pole will hang freely from the wrist and allow the use of one's hands, eg to take a photograph, check a map or GPS, etc. When one is ready to start using the poles again, they will then be in the right place to grasp. For an explanation of this, visit somewhere like Pete's Pole Page http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/poles.htm or the Backpacker magazine slideshow at http://www.backpacker.com/skills-adjust-your-trekking-pole-straps/skills/sslideshows/146.

DougF
 

tiagorosado

New Member
I Kknow this is a late reply, nevertheless here it goes:

I'm a big fan of trekking poles due to ohter activities, and the thing i really enjoy most on hot weather walks in having natural cork on the hand grip - For some it can be a luxury i know but you'll always have a confortable and dry grip on your hands, it wont smell bad, and it's really the best thing.

About having two poles or one
I've done both. On the first camino i walked with two and on the last I've made (summer 2010) i almost only used one. I think that two poles are best suited for people with some sort of physical chanllenge (ankles, age, prone to blisters) or just people that want to walk a lot. After 30km/day it really gets handy!! :D
One pole - my last walk - in my humble opinion is more suited for occasional support in climbs/descents, in a person in good walking shape, or just is you don't want to make more and 30km/day

but cork really make the difference! :D

just my thoughts

Best Regards!!

http://www.tiagorosado.com/santiago_primeiros_dias.html
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... 1587301466
 

MaryEllen Lamothe

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept./Oct. 2014
Hi, I'm currently looking to purchase some trekking poles, and am overwhelmed by choice. I've read reviews on the Komperdells which say the duo locking device does not work that well, reviews on the Leki Diva's that are a bit so so - then there are the Jacko Prostars and the Nordic walking poles plus many more.

Can anyone help with a bit of advice on the best poles you've had?

Many thanks

Jane

Does anyone know if you can take tracking poles on the airlines. Mine are telescoping and we are carrying on our backpacks.
 

Gesha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
"May 2014" & "May 2015"
Hi, I'm currently looking to purchase some trekking poles, and am overwhelmed by choice. I've read reviews on the Komperdells which say the duo locking device does not work that well, reviews on the Leki Diva's that are a bit so so - then there are the Jacko Prostars and the Nordic walking poles plus many more.

Can anyone help with a bit of advice on the best poles you've had?

Many thanks

Jane
Hi, whichever poles you choose please buy some rubber stoppers so they don't "click" noisily on the pavements through towns. It's a curse to have such a noise when we all seek peace along the Way. You can take the stoppers off when you are walking down the very steep sections to give you more grip. Cheers Helen
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
1. Check with the airline your flying with. It can vary from airline to airline. I put all my gear on my pack, put the pack in a suitcase, and check it in. No problems no worries.
2. Carry a spare set of rubber tips. I lost one to a sewer grate last year and you guessed it, click click for the remainder of my Camino.

Happy Trails.
 

MaryEllen Lamothe

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept./Oct. 2014
1. Check with the airline your flying with. It can vary from airline to airline. I put all my gear on my pack, put the pack in a suitcase, and check it in. No problems no worries.
2. Carry a spare set of rubber tips. I lost one to a sewer grate last year and you guessed it, click click for the remainder of my Camino.

Happy Trails.
Hummm. I never considered checking in my backpack too. I think I'll pack up my poles (and tips!) and check them as luggage along with anything else that may not make it through TSA. If those things get lost along the way, I'll figure something out at the other end. I have a very bad attitude about TSA, so maybe that's one thing I need to work on during this camino :)
Thanks for the guidance.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I used Leki poles on both my Camino Frances treks, in 2013, and May 2014. Last year (2013) I used a pair of Leki "Softlite" lightweight alloy poles with the traditional twist-torsion tighteners.

The Leki pole prevented me from being tossed off a steep drop just before Alton de Perdon by (there is now a cable "fence" there to prevent pilgrims from going over the edge). They literally saved my life when two fast-moving cyclists came down the hill side-by-side, sweeping the path of all pilgrims on the path. Although the pole was bent and "arched" like an archery bow, it did snap right back into the original straightness by itself.

Based on that experience, in May 2014, I used a pair of Leki "Makalu" walking poles, again with the traditional twist torsion tighteners. I prefer this sort of system to the newer-style cam-lock systems, as it is easier to fix in the field. Duck tape works wonders! The other difference is that the Makalu model has larger diameter tubes and is slightly heavier. The hand grips were slightly different too.

In 2014, I used the two poles far less than I did in 2013. For 2015, I am planning to try a single, carbon fiber pole I picked up on sale at REI here in the States. The single pole has a screw-off top to enable a camera to be mounted. It also has a hand-strap that I am retro-fitting to better support my hand. But, being carbon fiber, the pole is very light and stores down to 16 inches using four bungee cord-connected segments. We will see what happens.

Regardless, I always use rubber tips. Generally, I get one 500 mile Camino from one pair of tips. These are easily purchased along the way in any large town or city. Decathlon also carries tips that will fit Leki poles.

One more point, walking poles make effective, field-expedient clothes lines. If you can find an open-window frame, two chairs, two bunks, etc. to support each end, you can extend the poles to more than 1.2 meters to allow you to place wet items on each pole to dry. I use this technique all the time. Also, I carry two, long, heavy-duty rubber bands for each pole to help affix them or suspend them to solid "stuff" so the poles do not fall. It works like a charm.

I also justified packing two, large plastic clothes hangers (the sort with the rounded members), one each, in each of my rucksack side pockets. My Osprey Kestrel has two, zip, side pockets that run vertically. So, the hangers are stored with other small items I may need from time to time. This enables me to dry clothing quicker overnight. Yes, there is a slight weight penalty. But, for me it works.

I hope this helps someone.
 
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gwdelmar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, September- October (2014) SJPP- SdC
Camino Portugues, September (2016) Porto-SdC
Does anyone know if you can take tracking poles on the airlines. Mine are telescoping and we are carrying on our backpacks.
Mary Ellen,
I just came from the airport, and I took my trekking poles and went to the TSA to ask them about bringing them with me as a carry on. I got an answer, but not too clear, and I think I will pack them and put them with checked luggage. Long story short, one TSA agent told me I could not bring them as carry on, the other told me I could, as long as I needed them to help me walk. Then, they were unsure, went to find out with a supervisor, and came back and told me that the day that I'm flying, just tell the inspector that I need them with me, because I needed to walk with them. In reality, I can walk very well without them, and I just need them for the trek. They will see that I am capable to walk without the poles.
As I'm sure there will be conflicting opinions the day of the trip, and I do not need the hassle, I will check them in for peace of mind regarding the TSA, and then hope they are waiting for me at the other end. Besides, I have a connection trip, and TSA have different way of handling things at different airports.
Regarding the poles, I am very happy with my Leki corklite's. I've been using them for awhile without any problems. And the rubber tips are very easy to put in.
 

tploomis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
Mary Ellen,
I just came from the airport, and I took my trekking poles and went to the TSA to ask them about bringing them with me as a carry on. I got an answer, but not too clear, and I think I will pack them and put them with checked luggage. Long story short, one TSA agent told me I could not bring them as carry on, the other told me I could, as long as I needed them to help me walk. Then, they were unsure, went to find out with a supervisor, and came back and told me that the day that I'm flying, just tell the inspector that I need them with me, because I needed to walk with them. In reality, I can walk very well without them, and I just need them for the trek. They will see that I am capable to walk without the poles.
As I'm sure there will be conflicting opinions the day of the trip, and I do not need the hassle, I will check them in for peace of mind regarding the TSA, and then hope they are waiting for me at the other end. Besides, I have a connection trip, and TSA have different way of handling things at different airports.
Regarding the poles, I am very happy with my Leki corklite's. I've been using them for awhile without any problems. And the rubber tips are very easy to put in.
I had a friend who tried convincing the TSA official he needed his poles for walking. The official wouldn't accept that and instead arranged for a wheelchair transport. Ironically, we were all headed off for a backpacking trip!
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I made a cardboard "suitcase" for my poles and a larger than 3.3 container of sunscreen and carried my pack on. When I collected the checked item, I tossed the cardboard.
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
Hummm. I never considered checking in my backpack too. I think I'll pack up my poles (and tips!) and check them as luggage along with anything else that may not make it through TSA. If those things get lost along the way, I'll figure something out at the other end. I have a very bad attitude about TSA, so maybe that's one thing I need to work on during this camino :)
Don't get me started on the TSA or their creator Homeland Security. I know I can buy what the TSA will not let me carry onboard when I get to my destination and I know I can mail it home but I'm a thrifty sort and really resent it. I start and stop at the same airport. I make sure the accommodations I'm staying at will let me store my suit case while going Camino walkabout. I take longer clearing customs and have to wait for my luggage but by eliminating the hassles of airport security is worth it.
I have seen some people wrap their packs in cellophane prior to checking them in.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
We wrapped the poles in our towels and then went into the 50 ltr backpacks and checked them in. No problems at all. Bought a special fluorescent yellow flightback to put the backpack into., locked it up at the zippers with a small lock .we used the flightback during the walk as a raincover and as extra safetyflag ,walking on hardshoulders of motorways on the caminho Portuges.
On the airport luggagebelt we directly recognized our packs by the colour.
http://www.bever.nl/radical-design-regenhoes-undercover-m-1262c00002?id_colour=730
 
Last edited:

massazuwux

New Member
Trekking poles are standard equipment for many hikers, trekkers, backpackers and snowshoes. The reasons why are simple: They enhance your stability and support on all types of terrain.

When shopping for trekking poles, your key considerations should be weight, price, shock absorption, shaft construction and the type of grip. Here's how to choose.
 

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